Introducing our New Name!

Firstly, I would like to thank all the fans of Undertendollars … both the newbies, and the oldies.  Thank you all very much for your support.  We’ve all had heaps of fun here at UTD and it’s only going to get better!

With a new name, comes new ideas and new opportunities.  Your old friends will stay, including Worthy Wine, Tight Ass Tips, Meal Planners, Recipes, Craft Ideas, stories, tips and ideas.  However, now … there are opportunities to present to you so much more!

So without any further ado, I would like to introduce to you the new name for Undertendollars being THE THRIFTY ISSUE …

Logo_new - Regular sizeThe Thrifty Issue is a place to visit for stylish, funky and fun ideas on saving time, money and stress.  A place to meet and greet, to share and explore. 

If you want to participate in The Thrifty Issue with a guest blog of your own, feel free!  There will be a few new segments as well, so watch this space!  The transition will take place over the next week or so.

Just enjoy the ride, take in the new look, and for me it’s business as usual ~ bringing the fun to you!

Love Alison x

Insomnia and Nightmares

It was bound to happen.  Enter one little change in my life, and I’m cruising along during the day as happy as ever … go to sleep at a reasonable bedtime … then BOOM! I’m awake at 1:00am with the mind and body raring to go!

The change I’m referring to is with Undertendollars and unexpectedly having to change the name.  I received the Registration of Business Name yesterday, and am very excited!  I can’t wait to share it with you.

There is so much going on in my head right now, the brain has obviously decided there is no time for sleep!

Mind you, I wasn’t exactly sleeping peacefully.  Nightmares about people chasing me on motorbikes while I’m driving around in my car filled with suitcases that have exploded.  The contents containing kids clothes and toys have now filled the car and I’m madly putting them in the boot so people don’t see them in the car while it’s parked and are tempted to break in.  OMG … did I just share that with you!?

Speaking of nightmares.  My parents taught me the best trick ever, and it’s a great one for both adults and kids.  I’m so surprised that more people don’t know about it.  It’s as simple as turning the pillow over to the other side.  Explain to your kids … when you turn it over, the nightmares go over with it.  They are trapped underneath and won’t come back.  The new side of the pillow is nice, cool and refreshing and has lots of lovely dreams about butterflies and beaches.  A great tip for both kids and adults!

This trick did not help me stop the brain from going into overload however.  Everything seems so exaggerated at night time.  Lying there in the dark with the same thoughts going around and around.  The only insomnia remedy that works for me is to work through my thoughts and write them down.  Then go back to bed.

The other thing I try to do is prevent insomnia.  That means:

  • going to bed at a reasonable hour
  • avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • sleeping in a cool and comfortable bed
  • avoiding the computer or technology for at least 30 minutes before sleep, and
  • no napping during the day (I only apply this last rule during the days I’m suffering from insomnia!).

There are lots of handy tips for helping with insomnia once it’s set in, but these have never worked for me.  Some include:

  • drinking a warm cup of milk or chamomile tea
  • doing a quiet activity with dim lighting for 30 minutes then going back to bed
  • deep breathing (yoga style)
  • muscle relaxing (I learnt this one in Drama class – tighten every muscle in your body, then slowly release each muscle, one at a time, starting from your toes)
  • fool around
  • gentle yoga stretches and going back to bed

Hopefully one of these tips would help for you.

At least I know my insomnia is temporary.  Sometimes it can last a couple of days, at which time I become a delirious maniac!  Hopefully that won’t happen this week!

Do you suffer from insomnia or nightmares?  What works for you?

If you liked this page, perhaps you would also like
Techniques to De-Stress

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Goodbye Undertendollars! Hello …

Logo SplitThe draft blog I wrote on this topic only yesterday had a completely different feel.  I had started it with “Oh, I could just cry”, however now I’m feeling positive and rearing to go!

I am so proud of Undertendollars.  I am proud of the Undertendollars name, the logo, the website and facebook page, the blogs written by myself and by friends who have contributed to Undertendollars and most of all, the friends I have met through Undertendollars.

Unfortunately, due to my naivety and ignorance in this world of URLs and domains, I’ve found myself in a position where I need to either close or rebrand Undertendollars.  This is due to my lack of research and experience, lack of foresight and also a lack of confidence when initially creating Undertendollars.

In such a short time, I’ve become really passionate about Undertendollars and have decided to upgrade the website, and in doing so have found that I am unable to obtain my domain name of choice.  Therefore, I’ve decided to re-name Undertendollars instead.

This initial realisation was really disappointing to me.  {Hello Comfort Eating: my husband has found the remnants of the chocolate block, but has not yet seen the disappearing chips}.  But I now have a new name in mind and am very excited!  This time I’m going to do my research first before sharing with you!

So that’s the story to date.  Once the New Name is confirmed, the transition should be very smooth and you won’t feel a thing!  I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions on what you would like to see from the upgraded website and facebook page, and I will certainly keep you updated on proceedings as we go!

Love Alison x

 

 

 

 

How to Turn Your Clutter into Cold Hard Cash!

Written by Nikki Morgan, 21 May 2013

We all have it, household junk that we will never need or use again, filling up our drawers, cupboards and even garages. While some of this is truly junk that needs to go in the bin, lot’s of things lurking around our home can be converted into cash….as the saying goes “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”.

De-cluttering is a fun and worthwhile exercise that we should all undertake once a year. I have a rule, if I have not used an item in the last 12 months, then I will probably never use it, so it is time to move the junk on!

We love to hang on to things ‘just in case’ we need them. The reality is we will often buy things we really don’t need, or will be given gifts that are not really to our taste, so we hide them away. Well get out all those ‘things’ lurking in the cupboard and make some cash.

Start in one drawer, and then move on to the next. Don’t try and do it all in one day, as sometimes that task is just to momentous and you will lose interest. Start small and keep building the collection of items to sell. If things are rubbish, then toss them. If they are still in decent condition, you can donate them or use some of the following suggestions to find buyers for all this loot.

GARAGE SALE – This is the quickest way to make cash from your unwanted goods. Hosting a successful garage sale only takes a little bit of effort and requires you not placing unrealistic expectations on how much you want to receive for your items. Make sure you place an ad in your main newspaper, the small investment will be returned with lot’s of shoppers. Just putting up signs at the end of your street will not bring enough visitors. Make sure you present your wares in a neat fashion. Use tables if possible, hang clothes, and anything that is going on the floor should be on blankets or sheets. Price everything and then be prepared to bargain.

WEEKEND MARKETS – Have become a mecca for bargain hunters and sellers alike. For a small fee you will be allotted a car park size space for you to display your wares. The same rules of presentation apply at markets. Be prepared for an early start, and by noon you can be on your way home with cash jingling in your pocket. Whatever does not sell can be donated as many markets have donation bins near-by for that purpose. Try and put your items in the bins provided and not just on the ground in front of them, or more than likely your items will be on another persons market table next week.

EBAY – Setting up an account with Ebay is free, and non-commercial sellers can place up to 30 advertisements at no cost per month. They often have special weekends where you can list up to 100 items free of charge. You will only pay fee’s if you sell your item. You will also need a Paypal account, again free to set up. It makes financial transactions for buyers and sellers safe and convenient. Ebay is great for small items that don’t attract high postage charges. Unless your larger items are of high value that could get lot’s of bidders trying to win it, keep Ebay for the smaller and lighter items. Good quality pictures is one of the tricks to successful selling on Ebay. If the picture grabs the attention of buyers you have a much better chance of making good money.

GUMTREE – Is a completely free service that connects your items with buyers in your area. You don’t pay fees if you make a sale. As your buyers are local and will be coming to you, this is the best way to sell off large, bulky items that would attract very high postage fees. Things like garden equipment, unused sporting goods, artwork and furniture are great contenders for this sight. Setting up an account is quick and free.

FACEBOOK – Is growing in popularity as a way to sell off unwanted items, again with no cost to you. A quick search will find a host of ‘Garage Sale’ pages that cover your local area. There are 4 for my local area, and I have used this method to clear unwanted items. Most of these pages will require you to set up an album with your photo’s and descriptions of them items, and everyday you can add a small comment to your listings to bump them to the top of the page until it is sold.

WEEKEND SHOPPER – Most newspapers have a shopping section in their Saturday additions. You used to have to pay to list your items, but competition from other selling sources, saw the listing fee’s abandoned for items that cost less that $500.00. Place your ad by Wednesday night for inclusion in that Saturday’s addition. You just need to make sure you are home on Saturday in case you get calls from prospective customers who would like to view and purchase from you.

So get cleaning and clearing out and within a short space of time you
will see a pile of cash growing in front of you!

What is your favourite way of turning household junk into cash?

Garage Sale

Nikki Morgan is a Natural Therapist, Author, Bargain Queen, mum to two gorgeous teens and can often be found with a glass of Sav Blanc in hand, blogging away at her little piece of cyber-space Wonderfully Women.com

This post has been shared with Essentially Jess for “I Blog on Tuesday” IBOT

Easy Apps for the Home

As published on Little Hero Hosting, Tue 14 May 2013
Written by Alison Parks

If you know me well, you will be shocked that I am writing an article on technology, let Samsung Phonealone apps.  Here is a picture of the mobile phone that I have carried around until 6 months ago.  I loved this phone.  It didn’t have internet access, in fact, it couldn’t even take a photo.  But it fit easily into any pocket or mini purse and I could make and receive phone calls.  That’s all you need from a phone, right?

I admit I’m a slow learner.  So I’m going to give you the Most Useful and Easy Apps for the Home from my perspective.  If you search the internet, there are thousands of websites with experts telling you this and that about apps, and you need a technology dictionary to help read most of them.

I’m going to show you the easiest, cheapest and most useful apps that I have found and am currently using around the home.  If I’m using them, they must be easy to use!

As I own an android phone and tablet, my recommendations will be android based, however I have also provided an iphone option.

Groceries

In Australia, we don’t seem to have a one-stop-shop app for all the supermarkets.  The choice is for you to pick from the main supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, Aldi), or simply download a Shopping List app and go from there.

Of the major supermarket app selections, my pick is the Woolworths app, because you can also order online, it’s not just a shopping list like the others.  You can scan your item and either store it in a shopping list and/or order online and have it delivered to your door … all from your mobile phone.

Select the link below for your preferred option.

Android: Coles, Woolworths, Aldi
iPhone: Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Shopping List

Budgeting

I have a serious excel spreadsheet that monitors our budget.  In my pre-smartphone days I would take cash out each pay day for my ‘entertainment’ money, which was the best way for me to keep track of my casual spending.

These days however, I am able to eftpos whatever I like without fear of going over my allocated spend with the TrackMySpend app.

While you’re standing in the checkout line, just enter the amount of spend and it will calculate how much you have left, and how many days you have left until your next top up (i.e. pay day).  You can save your favourites (i.e. morning coffee) and with just a click of a button your spending budget will be updated.

Android: TrackMySpend [Free]
iPhone: TrackMySpend [Free]

Fashion

How often do you ask “Does this dress look nice?”, and hear in return “yes, of course” or “yes, dear”?  Wouldn’t it be great to get some honest and reliable feedback on what you’re wearing for your hot date or catch up with old friends.  What Should I Wear.com.au is the best app for this purpose!  When you’re out shopping, you can refer to what you actually have in your closet and compliment your wardrobe, rather than double up on what you already have – no more impulse buys!  It’s very addictive … you can give or get advice and also have lots of fashion questions answered by experts.

Android: WhatShouldIWear.com.au [Free
iPhone: WhatShouldIWear.com.au [Free]

Housework / Chores

This has been referred to me by friends with older kids.  What better way to share the chores with the kids, than via their smartphone!  iRewardChart allows you to select from built-in chores or create your own, delegate and accumulate rewards.  Kids love novelty, and using their phones … iRewardChart is a great concept!  You can always use it as an adult too … no reason why adults can’t get rewards for doing the chores!

Android: iRewardChart [$4.00]
iPhone: iRewardChart [$3.99]

A simple chore app is the Chore Checklist which has pre-set basic chores to keep your household running smooth, crisp and clean.  You can add or delete chores, and set reminders to ensure none are forgotten.  It’s a great motivator and organiser.

Android: Chore Checklist [Free]

Home Renovating

We have just finished renovating our home, and I am kicking myself for not having a smartphone years ago.  There are apps which allow you to upload a photo of your room, and virtually paint it with the colours of your choice.  I feel a new “feature wall” coming on!

Dulux have a great iPhone app available, click here.

Not a great recommendation, but the best solution I can find for the Australian Android users is the BEHR app to get a good idea on how your room is going to look, and then use the Dulux Colour Schemer app (which doesn’t allow photos of your room) to try and match the colour so you can buy the right product here in Oz.

Android: ColourSmart by BEHR
iPhone: Dulux Colour Schemer

Diet and Exercise

I religiously follow the Calorie King website to monitor my dietary intake and exercise program, and don’t you know it … they have an app too!  Set your weight goal, and it will keep track of the calories, fats, carbs, protein etc in all the foods you eat and will also calculate how many calories you burn through exercise. This one I can’t use as it’s only available for the iPhone owners.  The Calorie Counter – My Fitness Pal has been recommended to me for Android users for this article … so let me know what your thoughts are on it.

Android: Calorie Counter – My Fitness Pal
iPhone: Calorie King or Calorie Counter – My Fitness Pal

Recipes

Cooking in the home is a family affair at our place.  The kitchen is the centre of our home and it’s where all the important things happen.  I am not the world’s best cook, and I will take any help where given!  I’ve recently downloaded an easy to follow recipe app, Epicurious which has over 30,000 recipes to inspire me with last minute decisions during the week or long time planning with dinner parties.  Now this is an easy, essential app to have in your home.

Android: Epicurious
iPhone: Taste or Epicurious

Do you know what I like most about Apps?  Is that App is in Happy, and that’s how I feel when finding technology that can help me around the home!

Don’t forget to check out Little Hero Hosting for all your web hosting needs (and more!) … big thanks to them for posting our article.

Are You Proud to be Organised?

Being organised is not always something I wear with pride.  Throughout my life I’ve learnt that some people associate “organised” with being anal and controlling, so whilst most people know that I’m organised, they really don’t know the true extent (I really am crazy organised!)

I often see comments on facebook from Mum’s showing their messy house.  This would be a nightmare for me, yet I find myself agreeing with them and telling them my house is a mess too!  Which is mostly untrue.  Sometimes it is a mess, but usually only while the kids are playing in it. So why do I feel like I can’t brag that my house is clean and tidy?Organised

I like order.  I like being on time.  I like routine and structure.

I have lists.  And more lists.  Computerised lists.  Hand-written lists.

I would love to give you some tips on how to be organised … but that is for another day.

There are plenty of companies capitalising on other peoples poor organisational skills.  What I will give you for FREE is a list (because I love them so much) of the resources I have to keep me organised.  If you want more details or samples of any of my resources, just ask!

  • Gift register (with built-in budget).  Click here for link!
  • Automated meal planner which rotates every 4 weeks with accompanying shopping lists.  Click here for a copy (to be updated soon!)
  • Facebook schedule of posts
  • Daily To-Do list
  • Computerised Budget with annual forecast and current spend
  • Project list for our home renovations (yes, we’ve been renovating for the last 7 years! ~ nearly finished)
  • An excel list of my favourite Recipes (that would be 361 of them) categorised into dinner, lunch, mum’s favourite, visitors, snacks etc with a reference to which recipe book they are in
  • A spreadsheet with Goals for 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, 5 year, 10 year
  • A list of Chores that get done weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly and annually
  • A packing list that is printed every time we go away ~ which is regularly as our inlaws live out-of-town
  • An archive register of all my photos and insurance inventory’s; and finally
  • A list of movies that my husband and I want to see

I know there are lots of people who are as organised as I am, and there are just as many people who can fly by the seat of their pants.  Since having children, I’m learning to be a lot more flexible with my time, but I’m still loving my lists!

If you liked this page, perhaps you would also like
Household Tips From the 80’s

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Techniques to De-Stress

Destress

The words that come out of my mouth are betrayed by the physical symptoms appearing on my body.  “I am not stressed”, yet my mouth has ulcers, my shoulders are tense, I have stomach cramping and bloating and my fingers have developed a rash.  This happens every time I get stressed.

Does this happen to anybody else?

It’s often when my body starts to fail, that I will sit down and run through my de-stress techniques, which I’m going to share with you today.  Feel free to share with me your techniques too.

  • Determine what is causing the stress.  Most of the time, I don’t even know.  So I start to make a list of what is going on in my life – including the past few weeks and the upcoming weeks.  Usually this will flag the issue.
  • Deal with the physical symptoms.  The Wisebread website has a list of natural remedies that I mostly use for stomach aches.  A good massage and/or  a few sessions of yoga will help with tight muscles.  I find a good nights sleep will help with a few stress symptoms as well.
  • I remove myself from anything or anybody negative, and don’t place myself in any stressful positions, no matter how mild they are.  I stick to a basic routine and try not to fill my calendar.  I try to spend a few days just getting the house into order, get myself organised and fit in as much rest time as possible.
  • Some people find socialising helps with stress.  I find with my busy routine that I tend to cut back on socialising.  However, I do like to talk things through when stressed, and really thrash them out with a trusted person who has a good listening ear.  I feel that I need to release all my thoughts, and if I can’t talk to somebody about them, then I write them down.
  • I am an emotional eater.  Usually, by the time I have worked out that I’m stressed, I’ve eaten my way through the takeaway catalogues and it’s time for me to detox and focus on getting healthy again.  I often take this time to ensure my meal planners are prepared for the week ahead, check the cupboards are stocked full of healthy food and get my body back on track (without alcohol as well).
  • A good long walk or run on a beautiful day is a surefire way to release some of that stress.  Either go by yourself, or take the family.  Either way, your body will thank you for it.  In times of stress, I tend to neglect exercise … so this is a great time to ensure it’s back in the schedule for the upcoming week along with some regular meditation.

So I’m off to try some of these techniques to get myself back on track again.  I’d love to hear some of your tips and tricks too.

If you liked this page, perhaps you would also like
the Undertendollars “Comfort In Your Home” article

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Dating for Undertendollars

Somebody close to me is going on a date tonight.  I still remember the excitement of ‘dating’, especially when it’s working out and you have found someone you can enjoy spending time with.

One of the hardest things about dating if you’re on a budget, is the cost involved in firstly making yourself look beautiful and having a different outfit to wear for the first few dates, and then the cost of meeting outside the home and paying for drinks and dinners.

Budgets and costs should not hinder your fun however.  Here are a list of some fun and romantic Dating Ideas to ensure a successful outing without running up your credit card bill.

Dates don’t always have to be at night time, so you should search the internet for some activities held during the day, like a free concert in the botanical gardens or a festival where you can get some free entertainment, like the upcoming Redcliffe Kite Festival.  Subscribe to some local websites that offer entertainment discounts or ideas so you can be emailed whenever there are upcoming events.

A stroll through the local markets can incite some good talking points and then sit on a blanket with a cup of coffee and enjoy some people watching.  Walking is free and there are plenty of walking tracks in scenic locations where you can enjoy fresh air and good conversation.

A picnic under the stars is very romantic, particularly near a beach or overlooking the city whilst the sun is setting.  Once you get to know the person well, you can take turns having dinner at each other’s homes.

The local pub or RSL offer regular trivia or bingo nights where you have free entertainment at the cost of a drink.  It also helps to break the ice if you’re just starting out and is a great way to introduce friends without feeling intimidated as well.

Find out their favourite movie star and organise a surprise movie night at home (featuring their star, of course) with homemade popcorn, lots of comfy cushions and candles.

Those were just some of our ideas to get you started.  Good luck if you’re dating and even if you’re with a longtime partner you can try some of these ideas for Undertendollars (and feel free to share with us some of your own).

Love If you liked this page, perhaps you would also like
50 Things To Do When the Power Is Out and You’re Stuck at Home

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No Bake, Super Fast and Healthy Entertaining Platter for Undertendollars

One of my tasks for this month is to come up with a series of foodie ideas to entertain our friends with for Undertendollars!

This was a lot harder than I anticipated! I have been pouring through books and blogs for recipes using similar ingredients for under ten dollars, and it is no easy feat! Now I’m not talking about one cake here … I was hoping to do a collection of 4 – 5 sweet or savoury treats, and I found the task quite difficult!

Would you like to take on the challenge!?

I am not defeated however. I plan on putting together another little blog in the near future on Entertaining with Pantry Basics … so watch this space!

But for today’s little adventure, I have come up with a No Bake, No Cook, Easy to Prepare, Super Fast and Healthy Entertaining Platter for my 5 Best Friends for Under Ten Dollars. Pretty impressive huh!?

So next time you’re thinking it’s too hard, or too expensive to have some friends around for nibbles, think Undertendollars!

Undertendollars Platter
(please note, this is not a paid post by Coles … I just happen to have easy access to their online price list. Am sure you will find similar prices at other supermarkets)

1 x Pears William Bartlett loose approx. 140g each = $0.42
1 x Coles Cheese Brie Wrapped 125g = $3.00
1 x Coles Crackers Water Cracked Pepper 125g = $1.00
1 x Always Fresh Olives Green with Herbs 70g = $2.16
1 x Coles Brand Dip French Onion 200g = $2.30
2 x Carrots loose approx. 170g each = $0.68
1 x Celery Pieces approx. 75g each = $0.35

Total Price $9.90

Platter

 

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